A Haven for Vee

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A March Hodge Podge

1. 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'  What's something you've seen recently that you thought was beautiful?

Something about the woods yesterday made me stop and pay attention. Was it the multiple grays, taupes, and browns? The bit of green provided by the Eastern Spruce? Not sure, but I was quite surprised to see a tree creature looking right at me as I was editing the photo. Do you see him, too?

2. Our culture and beauty...your thoughts?

My first inclination is to say that our culture (in the United States) has been firmly based on Judeo-Christian values and that is what makes it both unique and beautiful. Nothing can be more beautiful than The Creator of Beauty Himself.

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.
~Psalm 90:17

3. Age before beauty, beauty queen, beauty mark, beauty sleep...which beauty-ful phrase resonates with you today? Why?

Beauty sleep...proper rest and quality sleep are so important to one's health and well being and it certainly makes a difference in the mirror. 

4. I read here a list of the top ten 
beasts animals that scare us the most-

alligators, coyotes, black bears, birds (but pigeons in particular), sharks, bats, bed bugs, rats, rattlesnakes, and the black widow spider. 

Which 'beast' on the list scares you the most? What is the likelihood of you having an actual encounter with that particular beast? Did a movie contribute to your fear of this creature? Have you ever had a real life encounter with any of the animals listed?

All except birds. I am even afraid of killer squirrels these days. It is highly unlikely to have an encounter with any on this list other than bats with which I have had multiple encounters. Acccckkkk... 

5. Where were you when you last heard a bell ring? Was it alarming or musical?

There are a number of bells in my home. I just rang one because it was there and what is a bell for? Besides, my late husband John gave it to me and I have always been charmed by it. It has a beautiful tone. 

(No, no, I was not ringing the bell to chase off the dogs from their own yard...never saw them until I uploaded the video...Ha!)

If Joyce means big bells...I really miss the bells ringing on Sunday morning calling people to worship. The townsfolk complained so about having their Sunday morning disturbed that the bells have been silent for decades. What a pity!

6. What's your favorite carb? How's that for random?

Bread! How's that for obvious and common? Any bread will do.

7. Let's wrap up another month of Hodgepodging and life with an acrostic. Recap your month using the word MARCH.

M any days of snow 

A and freezing 

R ain

C old and 

H onestly depressing

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

But better days are coming...and there's more to life than the weather. As John would say when I moaned about the weather, "Better than no weather at all." True. 

Thanks for reading today and feel free to join Joyce and friends HERE


Monday, March 27, 2017

This That and the Other

It was a quiet weekend. I kept busy with tidying the house, doing the laundry, and baking. I chose the cupcakes Susan so kindly gave us the recipe for a few weeks ago and practiced frosting them. 

(There's more than one way to fix formatting.)

A friend tells me that I need a lot more frosting to get a full piping effect.

Time was also spent in the sewing room. One project completed and the other completed with troubles. So like me! I seem to have a tea cozy that won't fit even my smallest tea pot. How'd I manage that?! 

↓As for the bowl cozy...used all year round in the microwave for easy removal of hot food and protecting hands from hot bowls and/or for protecting hands from cold ice cream bowls...I'm showing one little tip. If one quilts it a bit, ironing is not necessary. I dislike ironing bowl cozies. 


Finally, I must have watched this little video 25 times. It makes me howl with laughter. You may well have already seen it as it went viral in 2013 and again last fall. (I live under a rock, which explains why I hadn't seen it until recently.) This is a real couple married over 50 years. His name is Jack; her name is Sonja. His line is "baked in a buttery, flaky crust." Can he say it? Not on his life. Sonja is definitely over invested in his success.  There's a hilarious ironic twist in the end. I watch it one time and just focus on Jack. The next time, I focus on Sonja. So funny! Let me know if you've seen it (I want to know how far under the rock I am). I saw someone in Missouri claiming this video...nice try, but these two are quintessential Mainers eating at a truck stop that I love.

Thanks for popping in. Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Psalm 37:37

Thursday, March 23, 2017

One Incredibly Lazy Blogger

Of course, I am speaking of myself. I am blaming the cold, bitter cold of winter that has returned for my hunkering down under the blankets reading political commentary and fascinating things like that. The wind howls and I sink lower. I often don't even bother with meals, but today I made this treat for my afternoon snack. 

Appetizing, say what? I'll let you wonder what it might be. Do you ever make this snack? It's a lot faster than baking a cookie!

πŸͺ πŸͺ πŸͺ 
Earlier in the week, I started on a tutorial for my method of making bowl cozies because I make them differently from any tutorials that I have seen. 

I had fabrics and scissors and cutting mats and starch and padding and all manner of discussion on techniques, stitch length, etc. So sorry because I know that you're all hanging by a thread here, but I just didn't have the wherewithal to see it through.

Apparently, even the cactus is feeling lazy. One bloom. Just one. There'll be no more. I'm not sure whether to celebrate the one blossom or bin her for being a loafer.

If I can drag myself to your place, I'll be by later. If not, feel free to bin me for being a loafer.

comments on this post are now closed... 

Update: Okay, not thinking clearly here this morning. (Must be the new snow.) If I had been thinking clearly, I would not have closed comments before I could make some thanking all those who took a guess on what exactly is on that slice of toast up there. There were many fun guesses from apricot jam to cinnamon sugar to apple butter. Anyway, unbeknownst to you, I was having myself a little contest to see who would guess correctly. I expected that I would have to draw names from a hat. Guess what? I don't. Only one person guessed correctly. Some persons did not hazard a guess at all. So what is on that toast?

Brown sugar. That's right. Just that simple. And no fancy concoction of it or broiling of it either. Just butter your toast as per usual and liberally sprinkle on the brown sugar and  press it on there with a knife as you would anything else. Hey! Don't knock it until you have tried it because it is yummy.  

So who is that one person to get it right? Mrs. T that's who! I am not sure what sort of happy mail she will be receiving, but some little something~something.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Maybe I Miss Downton Abbey, Et Cetera

As I write this, I am watching I Miss Downton Abbey. I'm only at PBS because I miss Victoria. In fact, I had no idea how much I missed Downton Abbey until reminded. Hope that Julian Fellowes is going to strike while the iron is lukewarm with a sequel or movie. 

Okay, this is not what I am here to tell you about today. I really wanted to chat a bit about my sister-in-law's and my wee adventure on St. Pat's Day. 

We had talked for several weeks about going out for lunch to a country store where they feature lots of booze, brick oven pizza, and a hip and happening everything visible pierced and tattooed staff. (What are people thinking? Are they really going to want those deformed ear lobes when they're 64? Do they really not like their skin?) We only knew about the brick oven pizza prior to our visit. I think Mary also wanted to see the house across the street (her great-nephew and John's recently bought the home). 

Mary had a general idea of where we were going. So did I except I am no good with road names and route numbers. We turned right when we should have turned left...twice! We resorted to asking Siri; she is not as helpful as she ought to be and yanked us around. Mary and I have lived in this area most of our lives, yet we managed to find a new road. If we hadn't been getting hungry, it might have been even more fun. It was certainly a pretty day for a drive.

Finally, we stopped at a country store and asked for directions. Well I asked because Mary made me. The clerk told me that she made brick oven pizzas, but that the place we were looking for was just on the top of the hill. Off we went and never found the top of the right hill for miles!  Maybe the clerk was piqued that I did not buy anything in her store.  

my leftovers~the tomatoes and onions were chopped finely and caramelized for subsequent meals

It was very crowded so apparently it's a popular place. One orders at the counter and then has a seat. The food is delivered to the table when ready. I ordered pizza and Mary ordered a Reuben sandwich. There were cookies for dessert, but I suggested that we could do some baking at home. So in a first, Mary and I baked together making my mother's recipe featured a post or so ago. Those cookies are truly special and we enjoyed them with tea. Mary wastes nothing if she can help it and just as the pan was going into the oven she shot a piece of dough onto the pan. When it came out, it had turned into a sheep! I kid you not. 

Mary Had a Little Lamb

So that's the story of our day and the most excitement I've had lately.


steps are down there somewhere

The boys came over Sunday afternoon to slide. Sam wonders if there'll be snow by the time April vacation rolls around. His father says "no" and I say "yes." We'll see. To put this into perspective, look out my kitchen window or at the sledding hill and my backyard. You can see why I'm skeptical.

I'll tell you what I really miss at this time of year...the sap buckets on my neighbor's trees. That maple syrup business had a tragic turn of events and are no longer in business. Have you seen any sap buckets lately? 


~in former years~

Forgot to weave my new bouquet of carnations into this tale... I am certainly craving color these days.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Kiss Me, I'm 1/32 Irish

I might as well say that I like to pretend I'm Irish. 

I know very little about my Irish ancestor, who hailed from Tipperary, beyond his name, whom he married, and who his children and descendants were and are. The one thing I am intrigued by is that the family stories about him have proven true... When family stories can be verified, it really is exciting. 

My children are a lot more Irish than I by virtue of having 1/64 Irish blood on my side and 1/8 Irish on the paternal side. Let's see if I can do the math — 9/64? 14%? Wow. Cool. 

Are you Irish, too? Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, right? 


Before the snowstorm fades into oblivion...

Okay, this thing...Stella was it...will not be fading into oblivion any time soon if the temps below freezing and the amount on my deck are any indication. (And I have been hearing rumors that the white stuff will continue... Shhhhhh... )

Don't worry, I had my comforts.

And then! A new pretty package in the mailbox...

Mrs. T from Across My Kitchen Table sent me this beautiful doily that she thinks her great-grandmother may have crocheted. She tells me that it had my name all over it. ☺ I think it is wonderful. Just look at that intricate work and yellow is my favorite color. The tea containers are so cute. I have already enjoyed the rooibos tea and have the breakfast tea to look forward to, perhaps today. Wonder if the specialty tea bag wrapper is something Mrs. T. printed. Must ask. Thank you so much, Mrs. T!

What are you doing today? I am going out for lunch...no corned beef hash, though maybe I shall bake some soda bread. Thanks for popping by! I appreciate you.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Same Story Different Day

Looks remarkably like last week's theme, doesn't it?

~hot chocolate and Susan's cookies — delicious~

Another Monday...I don't "feel" like posting; therefore, I will if only to push past this blogging block. Ahhh...better already.

It was a bitterly cold week with temps more like January. Looks like more of the same for this week. I think that is true for many places. I puttered with this and that spending a little more time in the sewing room than usual. 

Midweek, I received news that my dear friend Myrna had passed away in Oklahoma where she and her husband moved last fall to be near their youngest daughter. The time of the call and the fact that her daughter-in-law was calling made my heart sink. I wanted to answer with a "Please, don't tell me." Though I can be very happy for my friend who is no longer in any discomfort and who is safely home with The Lord and those who have gone on before, my heart is grieving for her husband and family and for her many friends and for my sad sorry self.

Myrna had been a teacher for years only retiring a year ago. She has touched so many children's lives, including my own children and my nieces as well. I have been traveling down Memory Lane a good bit of the time since this news came. She was my boss for many of the years that I taught.  I remember happy days at school teaching our classes side by side. One of the fun memories is of my niece and her friend Sam who both loved sardines for lunch. The minute those sardine cans popped, Myrna would fly in to say, "Not again!" =D I don't think that there are any sardines in Heaven.

Thursday was my day with my father and we had a good day. Others had had trouble on their days so I was happy that we pretty much sailed through and, except for the fact that my father was convinced he owned a helicopter, everything seemed okay. (Apologies for the mixed metaphors...boats, helicopters...) Perhaps growing up with a father whose fondest wish was to own a monkey, the helicopter seemed logical. I asked him if the helicopter was expensive to run and he said that it was "surprisingly reasonable." All righty then, that's good to know.

By Friday, things were not going so well. He had an "episode" while with his aides. I met my sister at the Emergency Room where he was taken. We spent a long day there. He was sent home late in the evening with a prescription. He had been told that he'd be leaving at suppertime so I bid everyone, now including my son and brother-in-law, a goodbye and left. While I was home cozy and warm, they were there another three hours! The nurse practitioner had had another thought and so more tests were done and more blood drawn. Nothing came of her brainstorms, thankfully.

 As I was backing out of my garage to leave for the hospital, I noticed packages on the stoop. I am too curious to leave things outside until I got home, though it may have accounted for my ducking out early. => This is what had arrived...

One was a cookie kit from Susan of My Mother's Apron Strings. These cookies are featured on This Post. They have a unique ingredient.

Susan is a designer with Elizabeth Craft Designs and creates the most amazing flowers for cards and decor. Just look at ↑the sweet apron card and the yellow roses card she sent back in June.↓ 


The other was a book by Linda Born called The Children Are Tender. It's a novel about a young teacher who has many adventures with her students through the years. A God Breeze... Linda blogs at God, Mom, Alzheimer's, and Me, which is a wonderful blog for caregivers.

Sweet and Pleasant diversions in a challenging week. I am very blessed.

I climbed up there and changed the clock myself. It meant going a little higher than I like to be...the third step...whoaaaa...but I did it! My son is going to be so impressed. He's a busy man and doesn't need to be taking care of his mother...yet.

Thank you for reading! Many blessings to you this week... 

Monday, March 6, 2017

That Promised Chat

I am feeling about as chatty as can be...a week of being mostly cooped up in the house can do that to a gal. That's why I'm glad that you're here!

This, if you are not used to my posts, is going to yarn you all over the place so brace yourself and please help yourself to the cookies and tea.

Awhile ago, Judy of Cranberry Morning told us about these cookies. She calls them
 White Crackle CookiesWhen I tasted them, I realized that what I really had were my mother's Oatmeal Cookies. ツ Not exactly, but very, very similar. My mom rolled hers in oatmeal so I used Judy's method and added oatmeal to the tops of some cookies.

Added photo:

~oatmeal topped~

Here's my mom's recipe and you can find Judy's recipe

Mom's Oatmeal Cookies


3/4 cup brown sugar
 1 1/2 cup flour
1 scant cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Make balls and roll in oatmeal (rolled oats).

Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes

The "excellent" may be wiped out, but they are a 
delicious, easy-to-make cookie.

Oh, wanted to mention that Gabby called out last Friday so my father didn't get the luxury of a goodbye after all. When my sister called me with the news Friday morning, they were feeling a little low. I decided to gather up some lunch and head for their place as a bit of a diversion for us all. I don't think that I've seen my sister since last fall.

Besides, I wanted to see the new sofa. Looks good, but I didn't get a photo. I visited for a couple of hours and then came home stopping by Hobby Lobby on my way. Those lemon slice placemats under the tea saucer were my score. I am eager for spring.

~fun fabric for a friend~

Made another bowl cozy and while selecting the Rt 66 fabric, I selected a few other fabrics as well. Who knows who may get a bowl cozy next. Ha!


Bowl cozies are something that I would never have thought I would use or like, but I really do. I enjoy being able to stick something in the microwave and being able to remove hot soup, chowder, oatmeal, whatever without burning my hands or getting a pot holder stuck in the food. I also use them when I am eating ice cream so my hands don't freeze...plenty cold enough without that. There are lots of tutorials out there. I use a combination of several.

~not a bowl cozy~

Then my Instagram and blogger friend Linda did an amazing tutorial on a sweet little draw bag called a "petal pouch." I have been wanting something easier for my makeup than a traditional makeup bag and had decided to make some sort of satchel that would open completely and allow me to grab my stuff because I am tired of pawing around. Anyway, this is how it turned out. I made it from vintage sheets because I didn't want to waste any fabric if it did not work out. No worries as Linda did a very thorough explanation of each step with pictures! Linda made hers with complementary fabric. You can find her tutorial HERE at MySewWhat blog. I think it would make a sweet handbag for little girls or as a way to present a gift. What do you think?

 ~second ribbon choice as first was too flimsy~
~my bodkin has seen better days~

 ~for my purposes a lot of ribbon was required~

 ~it works!~

Sheer Wisdom from butter London was one of my birthday gifts. I love this stuff. It is described as a "lush lip oil." 

That's a wrap...

I took a selfie wearing the lush lip oil, but decided against using it. Whiplash I don't mind giving you, but I am opposed to frightening you.

Thank you for the input you gave on my last post. I certainly don't want anything to happen to our happy little corner of Blogdom. If you have any ideas about ways to inject some enthusiasm or energy, please share.

A happy Monday and a good week. Hopefully, I'll find my way back soon.